PSX Mania – 016 – Fighting Force 2 (1999)

Completion time: 12:17:50

You know, I actually own Fighting Force 2 on the Sega Dreamcast. I played an hour of it when I first got it on its release for said console and never played it again, and I completely forgot why, until now. If you enjoyed the first Fighting Force, or even remember that it was basically a scrapped Streets of Rage 3D, and you come into this expecting more of the same, you’ll be shocked at how different this game really is.

And how absolutely crappy.

The “AI” is the most inconsistent programming I have ever seen in a video game. There are some rooms where you can toss a grenade at an enemy while another is close by, kill the intended target, and the second enemy doesn’t even bat an eyelash. There were even times I ran in front of an enemy and circled them, and no response. But then not even halfway through the game, the AI for foes with guns and grenades becomes the most overbearing frustration imaginable, able to hit you through walls and stun lock you to death. It’s a god awful nightmare trying to get through stages with gunmen, lacking a projectile weapon of your own, or even forgetting there’s a gunmen around the corner, and getting half of your heath blasted off in seconds. Oh, we can’t forget enemies clipping right through you and killing you from behind!

There’s literally one singular “positive” aspect to Fighting Force 2 – the final stage. While it also had multiple schmuck spots of gunners that can shoot you through walls and grenadiers that can stun lock you to death, the layout and pacing was very well done. The final boss battle was entertaining enough (reminded me of using a Hammer of Dawn from Gears of War), though fatigue set in when I realized there’s still more to the stage. I don’t count the computer at the top of the tower as the final boss. If I do, then it’s the easiest final boss in gaming history – just stand to the left and kick until it’s time to bolt for the exit.

Final stage notwithstanding, that still doesn’t put Fighting Force 2 in the good graces. Melee combat misses more often than not, there’s no music during the stages outside the final stage (and it was faint), the story is garbage, and it looks dreary all around, regardless of the stage diversity. It’s about as worthless a third person shooter as can be, on a console swimming in them. While the original Fighting Force was one of my all-time most disappointing games (I overhyped myself too much on it), it’s leagues better than whatever this heaping pile of refuge turned out to be. Play almost anything else instead of this. Hell, go boot up Play With The Teletubbies.

Rating: 2

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